Uncertainty written large on crisis-ridden West Indies cricket

The fate of West Indies cricket is clearly in jeopardy after the abrupt termination of their India tour. If the crisis is not resolved soon, even their participation in the upcoming World Cup will be in doubt.

Uncertainty written large on crisis-ridden West Indies cricket

New Delhi: The fate of West Indies cricket is clearly in jeopardy after the abrupt termination of their India tour. If the crisis is not resolved soon, even their participation in the upcoming World Cup will be in doubt.

On Friday, West Indies team stunned the sporting world by pulling out of India tour following an ongoing contract dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The players took the field at Dharamsala for the fourth One-Day International match against India, but enough damage have already been done to the sport and also creating a fissure between two boards.

The players have been in dispute with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) over the signing of a new agreement, with special focus on appearance money. According to media reports, players are also not happy with WIPA president Wavell Hinds, who without consulting them, accepted the terms offered by the WICB.

As a fall-out of the pull-out, Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has already referred the matter to their legal cell, seeking guidelines on how to seek compensation. It's reported that the Indian board is likely to claim damages of at least Rs 400 crore to cover the loses incurred from the unfulfilled sponsorship and broadcasting rights.

Besides, the Indian board has already warned for a possible pull-out from the scheduled tour of West Indies in 2016. For a financially crippled board like WICB, it will be like committing a sporting hara-kiri not to play India, considering the huge amount of revenue generated by the Indian cricket thanks to its huge television rights and hosts of other sponsorship deals.

Here, another worrying part for the West Indies is, the Indian board has purportedly been bestowed with new rights and power through the controversial “Big Three” route. And the BCCI will not hesitate to flex extra muscles to recoup the lost money.

Clive Lloyd , who was recently appointed chairman of selectors, apologised to the Indian board saying, it was a mistake for them to pull out of the tour and had also offered to send a second team to play the remainder of the fixture, which still had one ODI, one T20I and three Tests to go.

As expected, the Indian board didn't accept the offer. Instead, they roped in neighbouring Sri Lanka to play a five-ODI series from November 1 to 15.

If their internal issue is not resolved in earnest, future of Caribbean cricket will be in jeopardy. With a long history of disputes between players and the board, any delay in finding a lasting solution will only hamper their future prospects. Doubts are already there over their next series in South Africa, and their participation in the World Cup.